Presidents and ministers from seven Amazon countries met in Colombia on Friday (Sep 6) to agree on measures to protect the world's biggest rainforest, under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. Colombia's President Ivan Duque embracing an indigenous leader before the meeting in Leticia. (Photo: AFP/Nicolas Galeano) The summit took place in the wake of an international outcry over months of raging fires that have devastated swaths of the Amazon in Brazil and Bolivia. The gathering aimed "to foster a space for regional dialogue to advance the protection and sustainable use of this region, which is essential for the survival of the planet," Colombia's President Ivan Duque said. Duque inaugurated the meeting in a "maloka" - an indigenous hut - surrounded by members of the Tikuna tribe with headdresses of coloured feathers in southern Colombia's Amazon city of Leticia. Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, widely criticised over policies that favour deforestation and a … [Read more...] about Amazon countries meet to bolster rainforest protection
Amazon deforestation facts
The rapid expansion of fires in the Brazilian rainforest (pictured Aug, 21, 2019) is the result of a significant increase in deforestation. (Photo: AFP/Handout) The dramatic scale of this year's fires is the result of a significant acceleration of deforestation for the lumber industry, for agriculture or for other human activities. "In the tropics, fire is used extensively in a land-use environment," said Jeffrey Chambers, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a specialist in rainforests. "It's how you get rid of your agricultural waste products ... And part of the reason why that works is because those fires don't generally move into the forest," he explained. "A tropical rainforest is generally not flammable" because it's so humid. California has the opposite problem: burning waste is prohibited because the forests are so dry, they could go up in flames at the smallest spark. But in the Amazon, when an area of forest is cleared, the tree trunks are removed … [Read more...] about Why is part of the Amazon burning?
UN, France raise concern over Amazon wildfires 'crisis', photo source: twitter UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was "deeply concerned" by the fires in the Amazon. "In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity," he said on Twitter. "The Amazon must be protected." France's President Emmanuel Macron said the wildfires were "an international crisis" and called on the globe's most industrialised nations to address it at their summit this weekend. Official figures show nearly 73,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of the year - the highest number for any year since 2013. Most were in the Amazon. The extent of the area damaged by fires has yet to be determined, but smoke has choked Sao Paulo and several other Brazilian cities in the past week. "Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 per cent of our oxygen is burning," Macron said on Twitter. … [Read more...] about UN, France raise concern over Amazon wildfires “crisis”
Peru opened a military base in the Amazon on Tuesday in a bid to tackle illegal mining, the main culprit for deforestation in the world's largest rainforest. Illegal miners left a huge desert of sand in the middle of the lush jungle due to mercury contamination produced by their activities. (AFP/GUADALUPE PARDO) "The government has taken the political decision to be present in this region to eradicate illegal mining," said Defense Minister Jose Huerta at the inauguration of the base in the Tambopata nature reserve. The reserve lies in the Madre de Dios region known as the capital of illegal mining in Peru. The military base has been installed in an old camp of log cabins abandoned by illegal miners two weeks ago when Peru began its "Mercury" operation against the practice. "We've come and we'll stay as long as is necessary," said Huerta. More military bases are planned. "We've had a first two week phase and now we go to the second stage," expected to last six months, he … [Read more...] about Peru opens military base to protect Amazon from deforestation
Satellites monitor Brazil's Amazon, enabling authorities to catch deforestation gangs in the act AFP/NELSON ALMEIDA For three decades, a group of researchers have been monitoring forest clearing, agriculture and land use thanks to satellites orbiting the Earth and beaming images to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The center is located in Brazil's southeastern city of Sao Jose de Campos, far from the Amazon. But the thousands of satellite images sent to deforestation monitors give a pretty good idea of what?s going on in the forest on a daily basis. "It's the only project in the world that does monitoring on this scale," program coordinator Claudio Almeida told AFP during a visit to the center, located near the mega-city of Sao Paulo. "All of the European Union would fit into the Amazon with a bit left over. So monitoring this means you have to be on top of remote sensing technology," he said. BORN UNDER DICTATORSHIP The program is the government's main way of … [Read more...] about Brazil keeps eye on Amazon deforestation with satellites